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Meet the cows

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Meet the cows

On 4 February there will be an opportunity to meet the cows that will be grazing at the Glan y Mor Elias nature reserve in Llanfairfechan.

The event will run from 11am to 3pm.

Cattle grazing - wildlife benefit

Cattle graze this land to help to manage the area for wildlife benefit, organised by Conwy County Borough Council and Natural Resources Wales.

These quiet cattle are fenced in using virtual fencing.

While at the reserve, we thank you for keep your dog on a lead or under close control to avoid disturbing the animals.

The Local Places for Nature project has agreed to fund restoration of the grassland at Glan y Môr Elias, this will increase the number of native flower species which will benefit pollinating insects and help to provide food for wildlife.

The grassland will be scraped back and seeded using green, species rich hay from local meadows to improve the biodiversity of the grassland in patches across the site over two years. Over time the whole site should be improved as the plants set seed.

Examples of local species rich grassland can be seen at Plas Newydd on Anglesey, Conwy RSPB reserve and Bodnant gardens.

Cattle grazing is being introduced this January. The Highland cattle graze Morfa Madryn every year and spend their summers conservation grazing at Cors Goch. The aim of the grazing is to break up the dense grass mat and create opportunities for plants to seed. The cattle dung will encourage insects which will provide food for birds such as the Chough - cow dung can support up to 250 species of insect!

The cattle will be grazing the grassland until the end of February, the sheep graze the whole shoreline between September and March.

No-Fence virtual geofencing will be used to keep the cattle on the grassland and allow walkers to avoid them if they wish.

The Nofence system uses a phone App to define a virtual boundary around an area.

The animals wear a collar with a sensor attached which links to satellites to give GPS location of the animal and the phone network relays the information to a mobile using the app. The collar unit is powered by a battery which is topped up from solar panels on its casing. When the animal approaches the boundary, an audible signal is given which increases as they get nearer to the boundary line until they receive an electric shock. Animals are trained in the system at home in the field and learn quickly to turn back when they hear the sound before being given a shock, research has determined that the animal welfare is good as after very few shocks the animals learn to turn when they hear the signal.

The boundary line can be set to exclude areas such as dangerous drops or rare plant locations. It can be altered to move the livestock to a convenient gathering area when they need to be collecting.

The GPS tracking element of the system means that animals can easily be located on the phone app when stock checking and that if they do manage to escape the stock manager will receive an alert and will be able to find them.

The battery will last approximately three months and is topped up by the solar panel.

Posted on 25/01/2023

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